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Arteshbod Bahram Aryana (Persian: بهرام آریانا‎); born Hossein Manouchehri;[3] 17 March 1906 – 21 July 1985)[4] was a top Iranian military commander during the reign of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as well as a philosopher of Zoroastrianism, Persian nationalist and humanist.

Bahram Aryana
General Bahram Aryana.jpg
General Bahram Aryana
Hossein Manoochehri

(1906-03-17)17 March 1906
Died21 July 1985(1985-07-21) (aged 79)
Burial placeMontparnasse Cemetery
NationalityIranian Georgian
OrganizationAzadegan Organization
TitleMilitary attaché of Iran to France and Benelux[1]
Political party
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisNapoleon et l'Orient (1955)
InstitutionsOfficers' Academy[2]
WorksPour une ethique iranienne (1981)
Military career
Allegiance Iran
Service/branchGround Force Imperial Army of Iran.png Ground Forces
Years of service1930–1979
RankIIArmy-Arteshbod.png Arteshbod
Commands heldChiefs-of-Staff of the Iranian Imperial Army
Commander of the Imperial Iranian Ground Force
Commander of the Imperial Guard
AwardsLegion Honneur GO ribbon.svg Legion of Honour


He was born on 17 March 1906 in Tehran[5] from a Georgian mother,[6] whose ancestor was King Heraclius II, and from a judge father, Sadr-ed-din.[5] His name was Hossein Manouchehri, which he would change it to Bahram Aryana in 1950.[5] He was educated in France at the École Supérieur de Guerre and received his PhD in 1955 from the Faculty of Law of Paris with his thesis "Napoleon et l'Orient" (published in 1957).

After the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1941 during World War II, he went on with armed struggle and resisted the occupation before being arrested by the British forces. He was instrumental in many of the nationalist policies in the 1950-1960s. During the military campaign of 1964-65 he successfully pacified rebellious tribes in the south of Iran (Pars, Isfahan and Khuzestan) stirred-up by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, without shedding blood.

Hasan Toofanian and Bahram Ariana with several Israeli Officers at the headquarters of the Israeli Defense Forces.
State visit by De Gaulle to Iran. From left to right; Charles de Gaulle, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and Bahram Aryana.

Following his military success in the south, General Aryana was named Chief of Staff of the Shah's Army, position he maintained from 1965 to 1969.

During his posting as Chief of Staff, he met with various head of states including Richard Nixon, who received him at the White House, Yitzhak Rabin (then the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, who received him in Israel and General de Gaulle, during his visit to Iran.

Aryana left Iran in 1969 on the order of the Shah.[5]

He died in exile in Paris in June 1985[7] and is buried at the Montparnasse cemetery. General Aryana was a Grand Officier of the French Legion of Honour.[8]

His last published book, Pour une Éthique Iranienne was a call for unity against the obscurantist forces driving Khomeini and the mullahs' fundamentalist revolution.[9]

Party affiliationEdit

Aryana held dual membership of Aria Party and SUMKA.[10]

He founded Azadegan,[11] a nationalist opposition group which had "developed a full command staff structure and support from all nationalist elements from the moderate left to the monarchists".[12] while in exile in Paris.

Azadegan, meaning Born Free, was an anti-Khomeini movement which claimed as many as 12,000 followers in Iran, many of them in the armed forces.[7]

The daring seizing by Azadegan's officers of Tabarzin, an Iranian Navy's Combattante II class fast attack craft just built by France and en route to Iran while in the Mediterranean in August 1981, attracted media attention to Azadegan and its members' armed resistance against the clerical regime of Iran.[13][14]


  1. ^ Nīshābūrī, Naṣr Allāh Tavakkulī (2014). Memoirs of Nasrollah Tavakoli, The First Chief of Staff of the Iranian Army after the Islamic Revolution (in Persian). Ibex Pub. pp. 351–352. ISBN 1588140989. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Who was Aryana" (in Persian). Political Studies and Research Institute. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  3. ^ Ali Akbar Dareini (1998). The Rise and Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty: Memoirs of Former General Hussein Fardust. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 15–16. ISBN 8120816420.
  4. ^ "Biographie du Général Bahram ARYANA" (in French). Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "Iranian Personalities. General Bahram Ariana". Iran Chamber Society. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  6. ^ Rezvani, Babak (Winter 2009). "The Fereydani Georgian Representation". Anthropology of the Middle East. 4 (2): 57. doi:10.3167/ame.2009.040205.
  7. ^ a b Bahram Aryana Dies; Ex-Iran Chief of Staff New York Times.(Paris). 27 June 1985. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  8. ^ List of foreign recipients of the Légion d'Honneur
  9. ^ "Pour une Ethique Iranienne". Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  10. ^ Rahnema, Ali. Behind the 1953 Coup in Iran: Thugs, Turncoats, Soldiers, and Spooks. Cambridge University Press. p. 55. ISBN 1107076064.
  11. ^ Anoushiravan Ehteshami (1995). After Khomeini: the Iranian Second Republic. Psychology Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-415-10879-9. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  12. ^ Defense & Foreign Affairs, February 1981
  13. ^ FRANK J. PRIAL (19 August 1981). "Iranian Hijackers Sail To Marseilles". The New York Times. Iran; Marseilles (France); France. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  14. ^ Reuters (22 August 1981). "Iran Exiles Plan New Military Acts". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 April 2017.